August 26, 2011 | Lansing, MI | AMN – Governor Whitmer today proclaimed August 26 as Women’s Equality Day. August 26, 2021 commemorates the 101st anniversary of the addition of the 19th amendment to the United States Constitution, granting women the right to vote.
“I applaud the suffragists, activists, and civil rights leaders who fought tirelessly over centuries to secure women’s voting rights,” said Governor Whitmer. “Over the long arc of history, women have secured footholds in the halls of power, shattered ceilings, and broken down doors meant to keep us out. I am honored to serve as Michigan’s second woman governor and I am laser-focused on empowering women in Michigan by creating economic opportunity, expanding access to childcare, furthering paid parental leave, and achieving pay equity. This Women’s Equality Day, let’s commit ourselves to doing all that we can to ensure that women in Michigan can pursue their potential.”
“Voting is a fundamental right in our democracy,” said Cheryl Bergman, CEO of the Michigan Women’s Commission. “It is the first and most immediate means for women – and all citizens – to shape our governments. But we can’t stop there. We must ensure that voting rights and access to the ballot are protected. We must encourage women to use their voice and their vote in shaping the decisions of our governments by running for office ourselves, by engaging with our elected officials, and by spotlighting the issues that need attention to ensure our economic and social success.”
Since she took office, Gov. Whitmer has been committed to addressing issues that disproportionately affect women. The first month in her administration, the governor signed an executive directive to ensure pay equity for state employees. Earlier this year, the governor announced her proposal to invest $1.4 billion in federal child care funding to expand access to high-quality child care, make child care more affordable, and support child care professionals as part of the administration’s Economic Jumpstart Plan. The governor also recently proposed an investment to modernize Michigan Army National Guard facilities to address inequities that exist in the facilities provided to Michigan’s female service members.
Last year on Women’s Equality Day, Gov. Whitmer moved the Michigan’s Women’s Commission from the Department of Civil Rights to the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) to enhance the capacity of both entities to address the economic issues Michigan women face every day.
Michigan was one of the first three states to pass the 19th amendment, paving the way for other states to ratify the amendment. Michigan was once home to notable suffragettes including Sojourner Truth, Anna Howard Shaw, Clara Arthur, and Lucia Voorhees Grimes. Women’s Equality Day celebrates the monumental efforts of those who have fought and continue to fight to protect women’s constitutional right to vote.
View the full proclamation here.